Singer with 1990 #1 album To the Extreme / THU 6-28-12 / Pond youngster / Exodus figure / Instrument in Picasso painting / Eye cream additive / 1970s cop show / Cathedral facing New York's Rock Center

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Constructor: Elizabeth C. Gorski

Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium


THEME: TIME FRAME (34A: Window, of sorts ... or a hint to completing 10 answers in this puzzle) — all answers on periphery of the grid (the "FRAME") must be followed by TIME in order to make sense.
  • HARD (1A: You might give this to someone)
  • SNACK (5A: When to have a nosh)
  • HALF (10A: Football break)
  • FEEDING (13D: When the zookeeper makes the rounds with a bucket)
  • QUALITY (44D: Focused face-to-face contact)
  • PLAY (64A: School recess)
  • NIGHT (63A: Dark hours)
  • LEAD (62A: Period for preparation)
  • ARRIVAL (37D: Flight board listing)
  • HARVEST (1D: Autumn, typically)

Word of the Day: Ashley TISDALE (38D: Actress Ashley of "High School Musical") —

Ashley Michelle Tisdale (born July 2, 1985) is an American actress and singer who rose to prominence portraying the candy-counter girl Maddie Fitzpatrick in Disney Channel's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and the female antagonist Sharpay Evans in the High School Musical film series. The High School Musical series became a successful franchise which included two television films, a feature movie, a spin-off and numerous soundtrack albums. The popularity earned by Tisdale in High School Musical led her to sign a solo record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 2006 that allowed her to release two studio albums, Headstrong (2007) and Guilty Pleasure (2009).
Tisdale has a prominent voice role as Candace Flynn in Disney Channel's Phineas & Ferb, a cartoon which became television's most-watched animated series among kids and tweens and had been met with acclaim by critics.[1][2][3] She also owns a production company named Blondie Girl Production and has worked as an executive producer in a number of movies and television shows that includes the ABC Family television film Picture This and the Bravo's 2012 unscripted seriesMiss Advised. During 2009 and 2010, Tisdale had her first major broadcast role in The CW's television series Hellcats as Savannah Monroe, an intense and very religious cheerleader. In 2012, she was cast in a leading role in Scary Movie 5, the fourth sequel to the 2000 movie, set to premiere in 2013. (wikipedia)
• • •

I've seen variations on this gimmick before, but that didn't keep me from enjoying this version well enough. I copped to the theme Right away, and yet still found the puzzle a reasonable Thursday challenge, both because the cluing was tough in places and because not all of the TIMEs came to me right away. LEAD and PLAY and QUALITY were particularly elusive. Went in the direction of APACHES / IPSE instead of ARAPAHO / IRAE in the NE (11D: Wyoming tribe + 16A: Requiem Mass word). Had PLAN instead of PLOT (19D: Map (out)). Never heard the phrase "A LIE gets halfway around the world ..." and never heard of Ashley TISDALE in the SW. Don't know why BARBQ is a [Good grilling?]. I get the "grilling" part, but not the "Good." So that answer was tough, as was the SE—toughest section for me by far. I had to rely on knowing stupid RIEL (55A: Cambodian cash) in order to open things up. Felt almost like cheating, using crosswordese like that. Perhaps worst of all, mistake-wise, I was sure the revealer would be TIMES SQUARE. When that didn't fit, I just stared dumbly at the middle of the grid for a bit. TIME FRAME is nice too.



Bullets:
  • 14A: Baseball brother (ALOU) — first answer in the grid. Today is a good day to brush up on some important crosswordese, including this answer, EFT (23A: Pond youngster) (a young newt), and ARI (26A: "Exodus" figure) (the Uris novel, not the Bible book). I thought 10D: University of Hawaii campus locale was going to be MAUI or OAHU, but those are Hawaiian crosswordese *islands*. Clue was asking for the Hawaiian crosswordese *city* instead: HILO.
  • 56A: Singer with the 1990 #1 album "To the Extreme" (VANILLA ICE) — highlight of the puzzle for me: "To the extreme I rock the mic like a vandal / Light up the stage and wax a chump like a candle!"


  • 5D: Cathedral facing New York's Rock Center (ST. PAT'S) — Just a good guess on my part. The parallel possessives of ST. PAT'S and NOAH'S make for one of the less appealing parts of this grid.
  • 28D: Mrs. ___, "Beauty and the Beast" character (POTTS) — probably should've inferred this more easily considering all those damned inanimate objects (candlesticks and clocks and what not) talked in that movie.
  • 35D: Instrument in a Picasso painting (MANDOLIN) — specifically, in "MANDOLIN and Guitar." I sometimes get his stuff confused with ... that other guy ... dang, what's his name? ...  G-something? Yes, Juan Gris, who painted "Guitar and Clarinet," for instance:

  • 42D: Eye cream additive (RETINOL) — could think only of Preparation-H. Where did I see someone talk about putting that under their eyes ... ?
  • 43D: 1970s cop show ("BARETTA") — whoa, vague clue. Keep your eye on the sparrow ... 


Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

PS you should do the LA Times puzzle today because my friends PuzzleGirl and Doug Peterson made it. (Here's the URL for the .pdf)

69 comments:

Anonymous 12:12 AM  

Not surprised Rex likes this puzzle. He is in awe of the constructor but to be fair the puzzle is smooth and from what little I have learned is good construction with good fill. But for me this seems like a Monday with a fairly easily discernible twist. For a Thursday I was let down, especially because it is a Liz Gorski puzzle. Maybe ny expectations were too high or yesterday's was so much more enjoyable. On to the weekend....

JFC

syndy 12:24 AM  

I had a HARD time with 1 across.I started with "Bird" then, getting the theme, went to "A bad".THIS is what I expect from LA LIZ! a smooth,fun, QUALITY puzzle.(I had everything but the "V" for VANILLAICE before I could make heads or tails of it).

jae 12:53 AM  

As soon as I saw Gorski I was looking for something tricky and was not disappointed. I caught the theme almost immediately but it was still medium for me.  It took me while to sort out the center.  Wanted something less obvious for LOAN, had trouble spelling KARENINA, and forgot to read the clue for 29d so SNITCH came last.

I liked it.   A little zip...VANILLAICE, YECCH...a clever theme, some primo cluing...25a, 40a, 18a...all make for a fine Thurs.

Erasures:  hiS for YOS, YEtCH for YECCH.

Possible tough cross:  RETINOL/RIEL.

retired_chemist 12:59 AM  

To me there ought to be points off for "time" being an unnecessary addition for several of the answers. HARVEST, HALF, ARRIVAL, NIGHT, and possibly FEEDING are acceptable answers by themselves to the clues.

That said, I thought it was a fun, fresh puzzle with only a modest amount of crosswordese.

40A was POPE until crosses ruled it out, also 50A HIS and 33A KING.

61A MOTT as an applesauce eponym doesn't wash IMO. It's only a brand, and there are others.

Thanks, Ms. Gorski.

Anoa Bob 1:30 AM  

Like @syndy, confidently filled in biRD at 1A, "You might give this to someone you don't like", but HARVEST at 1D corrected that and put me onto the TIME trick.

Thought some of the theme entries could stand alone as clued w/o the added TIME. 10A HALF could satisfy "Football break" as in an announcer saying "We are at the HALF and the MizzouU marching band is on the field."

ARRIVAL (37D) all alone seems perfectly fine as "Flight board listing".

And "Dark hours" (63A)? That's just NIGHT, right?

Was stumped at 42D "Eye cream additive" Immediately thought of "boric acid". My uncle, who was a Navy hospital corpsman during WWII, used a boric acid solution to treat an eye infection I had when I was a kid. (It worked.) But the answer was RETINOL. Really? People put that stuff in their eyes?

Had to CHEAT (30D) (used the Across Lite "check" option) to make sure the TISDALE/ANTONIA side-by-sides at 38/39D were correct.

Tobias Duncan 1:42 AM  

VANILLAICE made me smile twice tonight.Earlier I was listening to Die Antwoords Fatty Boom Boom where he raps "no I do not want to stop, collaborate or listen"
Almost as good as "everybody say HO...like a thundercat"

Axiom guy 2:44 AM  

By the time the truth gets its shoes on, a lie gets halfway around the world.

Or something like that

chefwen 2:49 AM  

Got it right from the git-go with HALF time and FEEDING time. Sped through this one with only two write overs, at SEA before TO SEA and like @jae hiS before YOS at 50A.

Was a little disappointed because it was over and done with before I was ready. I like lingering over the puzzle. Don't read into that @evil.

Modesty Blasé 3:05 AM  

Couldn't get my act together in the SE for the longest while.
Was hoping for a MOTT the Hoople song when I got here. Or maybe something from REM's EPONYMous.

Antonia Cee MBAS 6:09 AM  

I got HARD (time) right from the word go, so this was super easy, but I was convinced the reveal would be TIME (OUT)...
La Liz once again literally thinking outside the box...
She was, but not the way I thought.
TIME FRAME is perhaps more clever than TIME OUT.

@ret-chemist
Totally agree that since HALF the answers did not seem to need the word TIME appended to them (HARVEST, ARRIVAL, NIGHT, HALF, FEEDING), it weakened the "frame" just a bit and let quite a bit of crosswordese blow in...
(but disagree with you that there was only a "modest" amount of crosswordese...
In particular:
23-26 Across: EFT, DTS, UNO, ARI
48-51 Across: RST, DDE, YOS, TRA.
Plus 14-16 Across: ALOU, TOSEA, IRAE
and toss in ATAT ALIE RIEL DIAG
I suspect some other constructors might have gotten tougher criticism for this fill over all.)

Now to check out the LA Times by Dougela, the Brangelina of crossworld!

dmw 6:12 AM  

Ditto on some answers not needing "time". Stuck a bit in SE because the applesauce is MottS.

Question? How bad is "cheating" (see Anoa Bob): AcrossLite-checked answers twice, a couple of black triangles?

Bearistotle 7:17 AM  

The pilot episode of 30 Rock has Jenna putting hemorrhoid cream on her eyes to reduce swelling.

Z 7:35 AM  

My kong was king before he was well HONG.

BARETTA was BeRaTTA, which made the SE a little slow. Otherwise the solve was very similiar to Rex's. ALOU confirmed by DUET were my first words in. QUALITY (time) was the hardest to suss out, especially since the absence of hyphens blinded me to BAR-B-Q (a "good" grilling as opposed to, say, being "grilled" as an enemy combatant). I didn't know the VANILLA ICE album, but "Ice Ice Baby" was huge when I was a new teacher, so that filled pretty easily.

@Modesty Blasé - MOTT the Hoople would be a good choice, but EPONYMous is just a greatest hits album, so I don't think a song from it would have worked. IMHO, though, you can never go wrong with Elvis.

Isn't the "Lie" quote a Twainism? Off to check.

Glimmerglass 7:36 AM  

I agree with several who say that the first part of xxxxxTIME can stand alone. I think that's often true about familiar phrases. I think I remember having a similar reaction to other puzzle missing-word themes. English tends to look for shorthand; if half the phrase will do, why say the whole phrase? I got off to a bad start today with biRD at 1A.

Z 7:45 AM  

Either Twain, "...while the truth is putting on its shoes," or Churchill, "...before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

pajamapartypants 7:52 AM  

the baretta theme song is completely meaningless.

LOL

John V 8:04 AM  

Fun, but way, way too easy for a Thursday; felt like a medium Monday at best. Got the theme almost immediately in the NW. Like @Rex, SE was last to fall, after I got QUALITY.

Thought that the vertical stack of TISDALE/ANTONIA crossed with VANILLAICE had a tad of Natick skew to it. Does VANILLAICE pass the breakfast test? Pass the GATEAU, please.

Fav clue/answer of the day, 25A, Cardinal of Rome/UNO. VERY cool clue.

Thanks, Ms. G. Off to the LATimes puz.

janicody 8:09 AM  

Preparation H on the eyes was also in Miss Congeniality. I'm sure Rex seems like more of the Tina Fey/30 Rock type, but I bet he watches Sandy Bullock take down Candace Bergen every time it's on. ;)

Sue McC 8:35 AM  

Another hand up for BIRD before HARD. In spite of that, I thought he puzzle was fun but not Thursday-challenging. And is it me or did we just have the "Chorus line" TRA clue and answer very recently?

joho 8:37 AM  

@Rex, I think a bad grilling would be when you're dragged into the police station and questioned. It would be even worse if they threw you on the BARBQ.

I like @syndy and @Anoa Bob had biRD at 1A and loved it! Didn't want to change it to HARD but that's where I got the theme. I had already written in SNACK and HALF but they didn't give it to me.

Loved TIMEFRAME.

I enjoyed this one very much, thank you, Liz!

joho 8:51 AM  

@Sue McC, yes, we did just have the same clue and and answer for TRA and it got me both times. I forgot to mention that SE corner was the toughest section for me and where I finished ... slowly. In the end QUALITY time was my favorite.

pauer 9:00 AM  

You go, Liz! You are on a roll!

jackj 9:48 AM  

“Today is a good day to brush up on some important crosswordese,”

Alou, Irae, Ahs, Eft, Dts, Uno, Ari, Atat, RST, DDE, Yos, TRA, Dew, Anti, Asps, Cee, Ami, MBAs, Alie, Riel, Diag, Tosea, Unarm.

That’s a lot of brushing up.

This seemed a rather pro forma effort from La Liz, particularly after her “star turn” on Sunday when she did her Global Warming editorial.

Adding “time” to certain answers was obvious after FEEDING’s clue showed what was needed to have the answer make sense, (especially after other clues showed that “add time” was the only gimmick, and it was not a rebus).

A random run of nit-picks, (after the crosswordese bombardment):

one wonders how MOTT goes from brand name to eponym for applesauce;

why was it thought we needed to add “TIME” to such as HARVEST, HALF, SNACK, ARRIVAL, PLAY, NIGHT, all of which seem able to stand on their own;

then there is an interesting question for lovers of language, “Which is worse, UNARM or ALOOFLY?”

A bit of a disappointment from one of the best constructors.

chefbea 9:51 AM  

Great puzzle. Great frame for the puzzle!!

Think I'll try to make a gateau on the barb-b.

It's the person not the product 10:15 AM  

@r_c & @dmw


ep·o·nym/ˈepəˌnim/

1.A person after whom a discovery, invention, place, etc., is named.
2.A name or noun formed in such a way.

Mott's® was founded in 1842 by Samuel R. Mott in Bouckville, New York

Two Ponies 10:20 AM  

Far too easy for a Thursday but still a good puzzle.
@ jackj, I will aloofly say that unarm is worse. Disarm is much more widely used. Unarm always reminds me of Venus de Milo.

I'm afraid to watch the news today.
After Citizens United it appears our court can be bought.

Anonymous 10:46 AM  

Prep H? You must watch "The Big C".

Tita 10:48 AM  

I do like these clever twists..."gimmicks" seems to carry too negative a connotation.

Enjoyed doing this one. Since I try to avoid the revealer, it felt a bit tough - when I finally gave up and read it, the Aha moment arrived, nad it was pretty easy from there.

Had a malapop with CEE for Chorus line kickoff.
Liked TYPOS, ELOPED, SNITCHON, GATEAU, YECCH.
STPATS is a gimme for any NYer.

Got worried in SW with those 2 unknown downs, 38 & 39, crossing VANILLAICE, but finished clean!

Thanks for a twisty Thursday.

(I thought Good grilling was a ref to the Houston BBQ place, but that is Goode...)

Anonymous 10:53 AM  

I agree with @Glimmerglass that the answers in these something missing puzzles can often stand alone without the missing part. While that can make it hard for me to spot the gimmick, I think if the complete phrase is "in the language," then it's legit.

Sparky 10:56 AM  

It did seem a bit easy once you realized the TIME went around the frame. Pleasant stroll. King before HONG, PLAn/PLAT, his/YOS, RaEL/RIEL.

Do not ever like ST PATS. It's a Cathedral, a landmark building. You go to mass there, or marry, or get buried from there. I hate the cutsie booing of of perfectly decent words, like saying the George for the George Washington Bridge. It's a fake familiarity; I'm so hip I can diminish this thing. You kids, get off of my lawn.

Crabby Old Lady

Tita 11:06 AM  

Haha @Sparky! This is reminiscent of the Xmas discussion from a ways back. I too hate lazy abbreviations or "cutesie booing" of words...

(Please don't shoo me off your lawn - I was simply saying that all NYers know that St. Patrick's Cathedral is across from Rockefeller Center. Hey - '30 Rock' is another one of those annoying fake familiars...!)

Now - will you please explain what booing a word is?

afrogran 11:25 AM  

I had a few problems
today, but the details are boring.

I have a nit to pick with 1A. Wouldn't the answer be AHARD, not hard? You give someone A HARD time.

I agree also that the answer should be MOTTS, not MOTT.

BTW: Here's a use of the word UNARM:

“I would challenge you to a battle of wits, but I see you are unarmed!”
― William Shakespeare

Carola 11:25 AM  

Just right for me. It took me a bit to catch on because, as others have said, SNACK and HALF could stand alone. But once I got FEEDING, filling in the rest of the "times" went quickly. Not the reveal, though, until the very end. I had the -FRAME part but was still looking for a kind of real window. Finally the satisfying AH. Except: DNF - I had RIaL crossing BARaTTA and UNa with PLaT. Should have known better on "una" - need some RETINOL for the brain.

I liked the ASPS clinging to the side of NOAH'S Ark and the nod to his dove in the clue for 32D.

@Anoa Bob - the retinol in the eye cream that you put on the skin around your eyes is an ANIT-aging/ANTI-wrinkle ingredient.

mac 11:44 AM  

Very good but a little easy Thursday. Because some of the words could stand alone, it was harder to suss out the trick.

There seems to be something for a lot of people in this puzzle, Liz is good at that. My least favorite word was "aloofly", and I liked Go West, Antonia and mandolin a lot.

Careful with the retinol, can irritate your skin especially when you expose it to sun.

notsofast 12:16 PM  

I never got the "..." time gimmick. Guess I'm not as smart as I thought! SE corner was brutal for me. "yecch" is not a word. "gateau" is French and not in common usage. The eponym is "Motts", not Mott. If you don't know to add the word "time", "quality" makes no sense at all. Same with "hard". Out of port should be "at sea", not "to". Not impressed.

MikeM 12:27 PM  

I dont mind easy Thursdays when they come after a DNF Wednesday... For good grilling I first had "BAcon" and for the face to face I had "neckIng". Straightened it out and enjoyed the puzzle a lot. Had to ask the wife about the French cake.
Totally agree about St Pats. I always hated "St Paddy's Day" and refuse to say it. It is "St Patricks Day" - a saint's feast day.
PS I live 12 miles from the George Washington Bridge and never hear it referred to as "the George". I have heard "the GWB"

Jeep 1:04 PM  

A good word to know: ALOOFLY.

I simply can't wait to use it in a sentence -- in conversation or in print!

Anonymous 1:14 PM  

@Chefwen - I could have written your comment, which makes me wonder if you are not a closet Bears fan....

JFC

hazel 1:26 PM  

I liked this one - lots of original fill - my path through the puzzle was a fortuitous one, i guess, because i didn't much notice the ESE.

New rule: if ESE bothers you, don't fill it in - let the crosses do it for you! And if in fact you need it for a toehold, you'll feel more kindly towards it!!

BARETTA - thks for the clip, @rex - that was some Texas-sized cheese - what a flashback. And you can take dat to de bank!

Bird 1:43 PM  

Liz did not disappoint today. I had a good [time] solving this one. I was staring at a bunch of blank squares and looking for the trick. As others have said, some answers were fine without TIME. Time Frame – are there time words (hour, day) hidden in the answers? Aha! Duh, should have gotten it sooner.

Only question is clue for 5D - I know she meant Rockefeller Center, but is “Rock Center” legit (as opposed to 30 Rock or The Rock)? Oh, and I didn’t know gifts can be temporary.

I like BIRD for 1A. (and not because it's my tag)

Every time I hear “applesauce”, I am reminded of the Brady Bunch episode where Peter imitates Humphrey Bogart and “s” is pronounced “sh”.

Peter (Bogart voice): Hey Mom. Hi Alice. What’s for dinner?

Carol: Pork chops.

Peter: Pork chops, eh? What else?

Alice: Applesauce?

Peter: Pork chops…and applesauce. Ain’t that swell?

Carol: Have you got something stuck in your teeth?”

Cheers!

Anonymous 1:57 PM  

For what it's worth I had always
heard the phrase as ending with 'getting its boots on' -
unlikely Churchill would have said
pants, he would have used
trousers, checked the internet and
found both Twain and Churchill
getting the credit, until I came across a gentlemen by the
name of Spurgeon who in 1885 quoted 'the old proverb': a lie
can travel halfway around the
world before the truth can get its
boots on.
Enjoyed the puzzle - but it
definitely felt like Monday

NYC Commuter 2:10 PM  

Re: The George Washington Bridge. Referencing "George" by itself isn't cutsie-pooing the GWB, it's distinguishing between the upper and lower decks. George on top, Martha on bottom, as god intended. I always chose Martha coming into the city, it's easier to get on the CBE that way.

Frustrated NY Driver 2:15 PM  

@NYC Commuter - the CBE is a different section of the giant parking lot known as the LIE ;)

JenCT 2:17 PM  

"Cookin' MCs like a pound of bacon..."

My favorite line in that song.

I remember an interview with Vanilla Ice where he (quite poorly) tried to explain how his song really wasn't a ripoff of the Queen/David Bowie song "Under Pressure."

DUET took waaaay too long to get.

Liked Floppy disc?/PAPER PLATE

Two Ponies 2:18 PM  

@ Bird, Funny re: Brady Bunch, Bogart, and applesauce. Puzzlemate does the same thing at the mention of either pork chops or applesauce. Must be an 80's thing.

fergus 2:26 PM  

" ... or a hint to completing ..." is what I had to read again to make sure that TIME wasn't integral. Just general, casual speech. The FRAME actually offered some help when I got stuck late in the SW corner. I AM before I DO was the problem; skeptical of RST on a Thursday, allowing for RNA possibly?

Anon Solver 2:33 PM  

@fergus - at least there were no RRN or RCD

Wood 2:39 PM  

It might get stuck in the ointment, if you happen to be using Preparation H in the lav...

ileen 2:54 PM  

I had dearm for way too long, but that's why I solve in pencil. I don't like UNARM, but got there in the end. I didn't even realize the middle answers (SNACK & NIGHT) were part of the theme until reading it here.

Lewis 2:56 PM  

Solid puzzle, not special, but still excellent quality. SE was the toughest quadrant for me.

Nothing will bother me today after the happy surprise of the Supreme Court's decision!

jberg 3:04 PM  

RIEL? Really, RIEL? Not RIAL, like so many other countries? I couldn't believe it, so finished with an error - I did think BARETTA would be better than Baratta, but wasn't confident enough to give up the obvious RIAL.

On the other hand, I can now prove that I am the nicest person reading this blog, since I am the only one who started by giving a HAND, instead of the BIRD, at 1A.

I liked the literary quality, with Anna KARENINA and My ANTONIA hanging down. At first I thought a TIME FRAME meant answers framed by time, so I thought there should have been time OUTs and time SHARES, but Rex axplained it all, so that's fine. Nice puzzle all round, and no problem at all for anyone who happens to have been in Cambodia recently.

Bird 3:29 PM  

@Two Ponies - yes, pork chops is another trigger for Peter's attempt to mimic Bogie.

Other news in TV Land . . . Mouseketeer and My Three Sons star Don Grady has left us. RIP

@ileen - there is also LATE in the puzzle so we can have a LATE NIGHT SNACK while watching BARETTA

retired_chemist 3:57 PM  

MOTT is the eponym of Mott's applesauce. I get that now. I interpreted the clue (incorrectly) as "Eponym for applesauce," not "Eponym associated with applesauce."

placematfan 4:06 PM  

Great puzzle. Thank you, Elizabeth.

Whether the theme entries can stand alone or not seems kinda moot; the theme is obviously Entry + “time,” and all the theme material satisfies that formula. To say that the theme doesn’t work on some other level seems a little over demanding.

What crossword doesn’t have crosswordese in it? There’s only so many three-letter words out there; there’s only so many three-letter words that don’t have a J, X, Z, Q, K, V, etc.; only so many that rarely appear in crosswords. The same is true for four-letter words. So to enumerate every short word I’ve seen in a lot of puzzles and hold a grid accountable for that list, claiming it a vice of said grid and comparing it to some utopian, crosswordese-free grid that doesn’t exist, is a little overdemanding, too.

Fifty-nine squares is a lot of themeage, almost the equivalent of four 15s; to have that in addition to stacked triplets of 7s in four corners, plus two 10s and two 8s, plus only 32 black squares, is top-notch craftmanship. There’s just not many constructors that can pull that off. This puzzle is tight as tight can be.

And what the hell’s wrong with ALOOFLY. That is so legitimately a word, it hurts. And it’s a pretty word. And it’s a pretty viable word. If a puzzle presents a word like that, it’s a learning moment--not a nit.

I though we were trying to forget Vanilla Ice.

Two Ponies 4:07 PM  

@ Rex, Thanks for the LA Times puzzle. That was good fun.

Judge Roberts was a pleasant shocker today.

Mr. Benson 4:59 PM  

Since I was 20 years old in 1990 and am currently the dad of an 11-year-old girl, VANILLA ICE and TISDALE might have been the two easiest answers in the whole grid for me. It's the farthest thing from a NATICK that I can imagine.

jae 5:52 PM  

@placematfan - Amen

Anonymous 6:55 PM  

@jberg: 2nd place to you in the nice department. Started out with caRD in 1A, as in "i don't like my mother-in-law, but I still send her a card on her birthday".

Any Thursday puzzle that I can complete is a fun puzzle in my book.

chefwen 8:38 PM  

@JFC - Me a closet Bear fan? Not in your wildest dreams.

Rex Parker 9:03 PM  

If your wildest dreams involve bears ... actually, for some people, I'm guessing that's pretty standard.

Carry on.

rp

Sparky 10:49 PM  

Oh @ Tita, you can play on my lawn any time. I was not criticizing your post. We were typing at the same time. You are correct, a reference to Rockefeller Center and Cathedral is a shoo-in for St. Patrick's. As for cutesie booing...long story.

@MikeM. St. Paddy makes it with me too. And the four leaf clover instead of the three leaf shamrock. I heard "The George" from some woman on TV doing the traffic reports. @NYCCommuter's version is much funnier. Naughty, naughty.

As long as I am venting, what's with the @ signs anyway?

@@@@@@@@@@ 12:03 AM  

@@@Sparky - I think in Twitter and other type blogs, when a poster of the second part responds to a poster of the first part the @ sign creates a link back to the poster of the first part who gets an automatic email or other type note in response without having to refresh the screen and look through the myriad posts. I fear the @ sign has no function in this blog, but it is convention to use it.

@@@@@@@@@@ 12:04 AM  

@@@Sparky - I think in Twitter and other type blogs, when a poster of the second part responds to a poster of the first part the @ sign creates a link back to the poster of the first part who gets an automatic email or other type note in response without having to refresh the screen and look through the myriad posts. I fear the @ sign has no function in this blog, but it is convention to use it.

@@@@@@@@@@ 12:05 AM  

I guess there was no error

rain forest 12:26 PM  

I've been in France for a month, and did this puzzle in a jet-lagged state, but really enjoyed it. Nice to have a Gorski puzzle to get back into the swing. I thought that those answers that "didn't need" the word "time" were strengthened by that addition. "Time frame" was excellent". Thanks, Liz.

Solving in Seattle 2:50 PM  

What's an ALOO FLY, a pest in a London lav?

NW took a while to suss out. Had blotter before ROLLTOP and auto before VOLT. Once I worked out the section the theme presented itself and SNACK confirmed it. A breeze until the SE which took quite a while.

UNARM and TOSEA cheapened the puzzle a bit, otherwise time well spent.

Mariners now at 7 dubs in a row.

Spacecraft 6:53 PM  

Finger up for assuming BIRD at 1a. When the NW ran out of steam I slid to the north, where of course I filled in ATSEA. Okay, that petered out, so over to NE. I was perfectly content to put in HALF by itself, no time needed. Trying to get going there, I saw ____Kong and thought: well, it's either gotta be KING or HONG--so I put in the NG. This led to FEEDING, but it seemed unfinished. It's feeding TIME, actually, I thought. And come to think--DING! The aha! bell rang. But "Birdtime" made no sense, so I corrected that, and it was off to the races.

I corrected 15a from AT to TO, with a YECCH. TO sea? Out of port? Nah, that's AT sea. I YECCHed also at UNARM, which seems to be a perennial favorite of constructors.

I guess I can let BARBQ pass, tho if you're gonna shorten barbecue at all, why not BBQ? This is like my pet peeve of spelling out "AND" between two initials.

These unpleasantnesses aside, I liked the puzzle overall. The highlight? Well, it SURE isn't VANILLAICE. Talk about YECCH! How about MANDOLIN, or even BARETTA? I loved that old cockatiel.

Dirigonzo 10:33 PM  

When I came to ____ Ark at 6d I was reluctant to put in NOAHS, because it's a Gorski puzzle for Pete's sake - it just can't be that obvious. And atSEA convinced me I was right, except of course I was wrong. TOSEA seems perfectly legitimate to me, as in "the ship put out of port and went to sea".

Fun overall but seemed a tad easy for Ms. Gorski on a Thursday.

@SiS - A LOO FLY, indeed; a tip o' the hat to the Olympics, no doubt.

Anonymous 11:23 PM  

I picked up on TIME right off the bat but had a hard time coming up with FRAME. I think I had all but two of the perimeter answers in place before TIME FRAME came to me.

I got thrown by BARBs, which I thought had to be correct with BARB in place...even though barbs are generally too good natured to be considered a grilling of any kind. Flummoxed by s_A_ITY, I put the paper down, went about my day, picked it up again a few minutes ago and instantly nailed BAR-B-Q.

That's my story.

Happy IPA day. Have we seen IPA in a NYT grid yet? It's one of the most popular styles of beer, but I don't think it's shown up in a Times puzzle yet.

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